The talk of possible realignment of divisions in baseball may become more than just talk.
When Andy MacPhail floated the thought at FanFest, some in the audience didn’t seem to grasp the concept, but basically baseball officials may be looking at moving teams to another division on a “floating” and not permanent basis.
Here is more on that thought in Tom Verducci’s article in SI.com.
I think the time may have come for baseball to experiment with this concept of “floating realignment.” Perhaps put a five-year timetable on the experiment and then take a closer look to decide if it was good for the game.
If the O’s were in the AL Central this year, would the level of excitement about this team be even higher than it is. The O’s went 17-20 vs. the Central last year.
To me a hidden factor in possible realignment would be for other teams to get to see how the O’s, Tampa and Toronto live. Play 36 games each year vs. the big two of Boston and NY and see how it feels to have their fans take over your stadium.
Do that for a couple of years and suddenly the Orioles, Tampa and Toronto would gain allies when they talk about the payroll disparity in the game.
In his article, Verducci says a team like Cleveland would benefit from 18 “lucrative” home dates with the Red Sox and Yankees.
Maybe that would sell a few more tickets, but how would their fans feel if they went 5-13 in those 18 games. How would Tribe players feel facing Boston and NY 36 times a year as opposed to the 17 times they played last year. Cleveland went 5-12 in those games by the way.
Being open to hearing more about some of these concepts is fine. It doesn’t make an O’s fan a “chicken” or afraid of facing the big boys.
It’s just in the preliminary talking stage now. As slow as some things move in this game, it could be years before any of this would ever begin to happen. By then, maybe the Orioles will be a 90-win team.
I am not sold on this idea by any stretch, just open to hearing more about it. And wondering if it somehow could be good for the game.
Later today, I’ll publish MacPhail’s comments from FanFest on this topic.
On another topic, I was among the many that watched Stephen Strasburg’s pitching debut live on MASN on Tuesday.
Going into the day, it was hard to imagine that Strasburg could live up to the hype - but then he did.
In the first inning, he got behind good hitters, who, ahead in the count, could only hit weak grounders off him. He threw 97 that looked effortless and ended his appearance with the nastiest of sliders.
I’m sure Nats management will not make a big deal out of just two innings of work and we all need to see a lot more. But if we see more outings like Tuesday, sending this guy to the Carolina League or Eastern League in April may be totally unnecessary.